Different Ethnic Enclave, Same Creeping Wahhabism

Cinderella Bloggerfeller has just translated from the French [a scholar lives!] a newspaper article about the muslim Chams of Cambodia. What a fascinating group of people; I never knew they existed. The bad news is wahhabis are already there, apparently, up to their same tricks. Read all about it here.

Cindy hit two interests of mine at once, the muslim world and obscure tribes. For obscure tribes in the US, a recent thread at metafilter is a goldmine. It deals mainly with various “tri-racial isolates”, intermixings of whites, indians and blacks, that created their own communities for a time. Some are apocryphal, some well-documented. It also talks about the various muslim groups made it to the New World one way or another. I imagine most people are aware that a considerable percentage of black slaves were muslim. But what about the Melungeons? If the theory that I have heard is to be believed, Spanish muslims fleeing the inquisition sailed to the New World attempting to find refuge. This would have been contemporaneous with Columbus. These people were identified as moors by the Spainards and were hunted and killed. But some remnants survived, most notably in the Ozarks. The link from metafilter puts forward a few other theories. What can one learn from this? I don’t know, but it sure is interesting. History is Whose Story, after all.

Published by bingregory

Official organ of an American Muslim in Malaysian Borneo, featuring plants, pantuns and pictures from the Malay archipelago. Oversharing since 2002.

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  1. Assalamu Alaikum Brother,

    Just a simple comment from my experience in my country, the so-called Secular Muslims or “Moderate” used to term all those Muslim organization that were active in political and social process for change towards Islam as “Wahabi”. But in reality these organizations are just like any other “traditionalist” Islamic organization. Only difference is that they have the courage to challenge these rulers of what they are doing.

    Now, as times have past those “Wahabi” organizations are more popular in many Islamic countries but previous dishonesty and oppression of “secularists” has given rise to more extreme groups. You can term “Wahabi” or “Salafi” whatever, but they do have points. Although I do not agree with their method of action, but I have some brotherly suggestion for you, it is ok if you criticize other Muslims but please do that after being sure from Islamic sources. Believe me, I have seen many lies and suffering of others with the term “Wahabi”.

    My first language is not English, so please excuse me.

    Your Brother in Faith

  2. Yes, that’s a good point, Simple Muslim. What country are you from? What you said made Algeria spring to mind, where the refusal to allow a legitimately elected Islamic party to take power led to awful violence for years. Turkey also is maybe an example of where some islamic political parties simply want to move the government in a more “observant” direction. I think it is useful to speak about specifics, though. I love the concept of a traditionalist islamic political party. But I have generally found that the more I find about the details of particular parties, the less I care for them. Perhaps this is because “Certainly Islam cannot be reduced to an utopia for the perfect society in this world – dunya, which is a support (was.îlah) for the Hereafter al-âkhira and Islam is neither limited to the domain of faith – imân, nor to its domain of law – sharî`ah” — Found here, which I’ll be blogging about shortly.

  3. Assalamualaikum,
    I can understand the difficulties faced by others not actively involved in a Muslims political force to understand the exact nature of the political parties. I can also understand why many Muslims in a non-Muslim country usually reject involvement in politics as they could not see real and immediate benefits in doing so.

    While it is true that many political parties through out the Muslim world have some element of Wahhabism in their ideologies and educational syllabus, many of these parties are also strongly traditionalists. This is very true where I come from.

    The Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), the mainstream Islamic party of Malaysia has its history and struggle supported in earnest from the traditionalists that once cause a secular leader proclaimed those coming from the zawiyas and madrassa as ‘troubles from the mountains’. At least one state commisioner of the party is a khalifah of a tariqa. The spiritual leader, Syeikh Nik Abdul Aziz, currently the Chief Minister of a PAS-governed state, has had tasawwuf education and well-known with his traditional circle teaching the Ash’arite theology, and al-Ghazali’s Mau’izatul Mukminin, among others.

    In recent years, the party has gained majority support from the Malay-Muslim population causing the secular-Malay government to woo support from non-Malays, and try to de-establish the traditional madrassa. In Ramadhan, tazkirah (short religious khutba) in between the tarawikh prayers which has become a norm since being popularised by Syeikh Nik Abdul Aziz, has been banned by the government. Astaghfirullah!

    In Indonesia the two main Islamic political party is the Nahdatul Ulama and the Muhammadiyyah. The first is definitely traditionalist, supported by syuyukh and traditional ulama from all-over Indonesia, whereas the Muhammadiyah is strongly Wahabbi though there are traditionalist in their ranks too.

    In my humble opinion, the traditionalists if truly afraid of Wahabbi-based party, should come forward and involve actively in the islamic political movement. As have been experienced in malaysia, the lack of vigorous involvement from among the traditionalist ulama has caused several important post falls on the Wahabbi people, threatening the once-traditionalist party into a Wahabbi-inclined party.

    On Algeria:
    There is no one who can prove that FIS is involved in the violence erupted after the election. many sources citing FIS involvement has come from the Western and government oriented media. There has been many reports showing the involvement of French army in the mass killing, not FIS.

    The creaton of a islamic country is not a misguided dream. The first islamic state was borne out in the desrt of Arabia by the beloved prophet s.a.w. It is our love to his sunnah and our abiding to Allah’s law that make us strive hard to explain and enlighten the society.

    Wallahu ta’ala a’lam.

  4. Assalamualaikum,

    While browsing the internet for some Islamic odes and eulogies, I came across a very interesting, but a bit minimal, website on islam in Vietnam at http://www.angelfire.com/vt/vietnamesemuslims/ . I think some of you might want to read this. There is an interesting picture of a Vietnamese princess linked to the Nine Wali (Wali Songo) of Java too. Wassalam.

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